NBA, Union Encourage Players to Be Vocal Activists

"None of us operates in a vacuum. Critical issues that affect our society also impact you directly"

Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, LeBron James at the 2016 ESPYS. Credit: Image Group LA/ABC via Getty

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts recently co-signed a letter that went out to the league's players encouraging them to continue fighting for what they believe in. The letter, which was obtained by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, made it clear that both the league and its players association will help players figure out the "most meaningful way" to make a difference in the world.

None of us operates in a vacuum. Critical issues that affect our society also impact you directly. Fortunately, you are not only the world's greatest basketball players – you have real power to make a difference in the world, and we want you know that the Players Association and the League are always available to help you figure out the most meaningful way to make that difference.

This comes after Kevin Durant said he won't visit the White House if the Golden State Warriors are invited because he does not "respect who’s in office right now." Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James has also been critical of Donald Trump in the past, calling him the "so-called president" at an event and questioning the direction the country is heading.

Other players and coaches in the league have used their platform to spread similar messages, including Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale. Following the events last month in Charlottesville, Virginia, Fizdale called for two particular Confederate statues in Memphis to be removed and put in a civil rights museum. Although nobody from the team has asked Fizdale to "tone it down," he told TNT’s David Aldridge that what he's doing is "edgy" and that he wants people to "be uncomfortable."